Five magazine publishers — Time, Conde Nast, Hearst, News Corp. and Meredith Corp. — together released an Android app for tablets that offers unlimited access to 32 popular magazines for $14.99 per month.
As of Wednesday, Android tablet users could sign up for the service, which gives them full issues of publications like the New Yorker, Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, and People, according to the LA Times.
Since the new app from the five corporations, called Next Issue, will allow readers to keep their subscriptions in one spot, analysts believe readers will be more inclined to use it. Until now, digital magazine subscribers had to download individual apps, which makes reading magazines on tablets complicated — it’s exactly the opposite of convenience on a platform that is all about ease.
Tablets, especially iPads, are quickly becoming the preferred place that readers consume content. A December Pew study revealed that ”21% of Internet users said they’d paid to download apps for their cell phones or tablets, and 18% said they’d purchased digital newspaper, magazine or journal content.” A separate study by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute of 1,600 iPad owners showed that people would be willing to pay for news that was lower than the price of the print subscription.
While tablets are helping the newspaper and magazine industries, it doesn’t change the fact that consumers are mainly interested in free information. The devices may not lead to record sales, but they could certainly stabilize the business.